The Toyota Tacoma has long been one of the most popular choices among midsize pickups. Good looks, a multitude of configurations and an affordable price tag keep the 2017 Tacoma relevant, and the truck’s reputation for durability yields repeat buyers.
For 2017, the off-road-friendly TRD Pro model makes a return to the Tacoma lineup. Extended (Access) and crew cab (Double Cab) body styles are offered, along with two bed sizes. The Tacoma comes in six trims: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and TRD Pro.
The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is powered by either a base four-cylinder or an optional V6 engine. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available. Rear-wheel-drive models use a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive variants also include the six-speed automatic and can be optioned to include a five-speed (four-cylinder) or six-speed (V6) manual transmission.
Hints of the Tacoma’s iconic design date back to the original 1960s Toyota Hilux. Toyota is a careful student of history, and its best-selling vehicles evolve slowly over time. The 2017 Tacoma features aggressive styling with muscular fenders and a front fascia that appears to snarl.
The Tacoma is offered in two different cab styles. The Access Cab model features two full-size front doors and two rear-hinged back doors, and the Double Cab model features a four-door configuration. Both 5-foot and 6-foot beds are available.
Each Tacoma trim level has a unique personality. The base SR model features simple design elements with 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear glass window, a color-keyed tailgate spoiler and a composite inner bed with storage compartments and a lockable and removable tailgate. The SR5 adds fog lights, a charcoal grille with chrome surround, a chrome rear bumper and color-keyed mirrors and door handles.
The TRD Sport includes LED running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and a color-keyed rear bumper. The TRD Off-Road comes with rugged touches like black fender cladding, and the Limited rides on 18-inch wheels. The TRD Pro features upgrades that include 16-inch black alloy wheels, a unique heritage grille, black badging and a hood scoop.
The Tacoma’s purposeful cabin design incorporates attractive long-wearing materials. The gimmick-free interior features straightforward controls and superb driver ergonomics. Front-row seating is excellent. With plenty of legroom and headroom, front-seat passengers are provided with an SUV-like environment.
All Tacomas have a rear seat. Access Cab models seat four with small fold-up rear seats that should be reserved for quick rides around town. Double Cab models seat five. These rear seats are certainly better than the Access Cab’s, but work best for two adults or three small children.
Base SR models come with air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and power windows and door locks. The list of available upgrades includes leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V6 that generates 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque is available.
Rear-wheel-drive models come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive models also include the six-speed automatic but can be optioned to include a five- or six-speed manual transmission, depending on engine choice.
Notably, the V6-powered Tacoma with rear-wheel drive achieves the best fuel economy in the lineup, returning an EPA-estimated 19/24 mpg city/highway.
The Tacoma provides a comfortable ride. Off-road models, like the TRD Pro, are equipped with suspension and drivetrain modifications that enhance the vehicle’s all-terrain capabilities. Four-cylinder models are adequate once they are on the highway, but feel underpowered in passing situations and on entrance ramps. The V6 is another story altogether. The power is plentiful for daily driving situations and highway maneuvers. Braking is excellent, and steering feel is exceptional for a midsize pickup.
When properly equipped, the Toyota Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds.
The base Tacoma SR arrives with a high level of standard technology equipment, including Toyota’s Entune multimedia bundle. The system features a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, six speakers, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth connectivity.
SR5 models include navigation, satellite radio and HD radio. TRD models include a 7-inch touch screen with split-screen display. Limited models receive a premium JBL audio system.
The 2017 Tacoma was awarded four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) based on its overall performance in crash tests.
The Tacoma received top scores of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in moderate overlap front and side crash tests. IIHS testing of the Tacoma’s headlights returned the lowest available Poor rating.
The 2017 Tacoma is equipped with a standard rearview camera. Front and rear parking assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available.
Pricing for the 2017 Toyota Tacoma starts at $24,320, plus a $960 delivery fee. Toyota’s entry price is for the rear-wheel-drive Access Cab model with the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Opting for the rear-wheel-drive SR Double Cab with a 5-foot bed, a 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic results in a suggested price of $29,935 plus destination. A nicely equipped TRD Pro model with four-wheel-drive starts at $40,960 plus destination.
The formula of the Tacoma’s success is strong value and excellent reliability. Although entry-level models are priced higher than offerings from Chevrolet, GMC and Nissan, the Tacoma offers a higher level of standard equipment. Our suggestion is to select a V6-powered Double Cab model. The true rear seats and doors and additional power outweigh the cost differential.
The Toyota Tacoma’s attractive styling, excellent standard equipment, and historically proven reliability and resale values make it a worthy pickup in the midsize segment. With almost endless configurations and package options, it’s easy to find a Tacoma that meets your needs, whether you’re looking for a work truck or an off-road hero.